Want To Succeed Like Bezos? Start By Doing Your Dishes


(By Randy Lane) New Year’s greetings from Newport, New South Wales, Australia, mate! The fifteen-hour flight from Los Angeles to Sydney gave me tons of time to think about my routines and rituals to set a positive tone for 2024. One of my intentions for my time in Australia is to deepen and expand my own personal rituals and practices.

What’s the difference between routines and rituals? Most routines occur unconsciously on autopilot, and rituals are mindful and intentional.

Routines are related to habits, while rituals are related to practices. Routines and habits are activities we do regularly and usually simultaneously and in the same order. We also do rituals and practices regularly, but not necessarily at the same time or in a certain sequence.

Waking up daily at 6a and planning your day while having coffee is part of a routine. Meditation is a ritual. Eating at the same lunch place at the same time every day is a habit. Being vegan or following a Keto Diet is a practice. Going to the 9a CrossFit class is a routine. Journaling is a ritual.

The healthiest people have a balance of routines and rituals in their lives. Historically, Winston Churchill exemplifies this balance. In his daily routine, there was a time he took his afternoon nap, a time he poured his first drink, and a time he took his bath. That was part of his routine.

Winston’s bedrock rituals included reading history and poetry, painting, and bricklaying—these activities transcended the day. Many creative people follow these universal rituals:

  • Journaling
  • Meditation or quiet moments of reflection
  • Exercise
  • Reading
  • Walks (usually solo)

Meditation, for instance, does not exclusively mean sitting in a lotus position repeating a mantra. Repetitious physical activities done mindfully accomplish comparable results.

In an Inc. article, Jessica Stillman explains why Jeff Bezos and Bill Gates still do their dishes. They treat everyday chores as a mindful practice. Experts in the article point out that mindfully doing mundane jobs can be valuable opportunities for mindfulness and creativity.

Routines and habits don’t have to be automatic or unconscious. Your routine drive to work listening to the news could become purposeful like listening to an inspirational audiobook or reciting affirmations with conscious intention and feeling. Your routine walk or run could include noticing and appreciating the beauty of nature.

Rituals in the Workplace

Rituals in the workplace help build connections and establish trust. Alma (a mental health care platform) CEO Harry Ritter starts the company’s weekly Zoom meeting with a ritual he calls “A Little About Me,” where one team member shares five photos that reflect distinct aspects of who they are. It’s a way to feel seen and connect with coworkers.

They end the Zoom meeting with a ritual called “Appreciations.” Employees express gratitude toward another coworker who showed up for them somehow. Ritter believes these rituals help the company’s retention rate average over 95%.

In this chaotic world where everything appears to be falling apart, get your new year off to a healthy start by focusing on rituals like meditation or mindful walks in nature to keep you centered and above the fray. Even folding laundry works, too!

Randy Lane is the owner of the Randy Lane Company, which coaches and brands radio and television personalities, business professionals, sports personalities, entrepreneurs, and pop culture artists, helping them master communication skills to have an impact on their audiences. Read Randy’s Radio Ink archives here.


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